Most dental colleges review a prospective student’s overall academic record for admissions, paying special attention to the student’s performance in science courses. Therefore, the most advisable major is Biological Science. The general courses required are the same as for pre-medical students and should be completed prior to taking the DAT examination in the junior year. Predental students should plan a course of study that matches the requirements of the preferred dental school. Dental school requirements can vary even more widely than those at medical schools, so close advising is very helpful.
An undergraduate education in the liberal arts is the best preparation for students interested in law school, although Pre-Law concentration students may major in a number of disciplines. Students obtain a Pre-Law concentration designation on their transcripts by taking 18 approved upper-division units as part of, or in addition to, their major. Suggested courses include Social Psychology, Social and Political Philosophy, Presentation Strategies, and Moral Choices in Contemporary Society.
Learn more about Holy Names University's Pre-Law Preparation Programs
Historically, Holy Names University students intending to enter the medical fields have majored in Biological Science. However, medical schools give equal consideration to students of any major, as long as those students have completed the prerequisite coursework that can be satisfied by the Health/Medicine Concentration. Thus, a student interested in medicine should consider personal interest, aptitude and alternative career goals when deciding upon a major field of undergraduate study.
Occupational therapy is closely related to physical therapy in orientation. It differs only in additional requirements in psychology and the arts. Most master's programs in occupational therapy require a year of general biology (BIOL 1A, 1B), anatomy and physiology (BIOL 117 and 115), psychology (PSYC 1A, 1B, 131, 168) and sociology (SOCI 1). For further information contact the advisor for Pre- Health Science in the Biological Science Department.
Students wishing to pursue a career in pharmacy should major in Biological Science or a self-designed major that includes Chemistry. Coursework in statistics (PSYC 63), microbiology (BIOL 145) and biochemistry (CHEM 130 and/or 185) is recommended as well.
Physical therapy candidates are strongly encouraged to major in Biological Science at Holy Names University. The entrance requirements for physical therapy include general chemistry, general biology and general physics, as well as courses in human anatomy, systemic physiology, health, physical education and psychology. Additional courses in psychology, sociology, statistics, health and physical education may also be needed depending upon the requirements of the master’s program chosen. For further information contact the advisor of Pre-Professional Health Science.
Biological Science and Chemistry are the traditional majors for students hoping to study veterinary medicine. However, as with pre-med, any major is an option for a student desiring to become a veterinarian. The coursework requirements are identical to those for pre-medical studies (see above under Medicine). Some schools have specific requirements for statistics (PSYC 63) and developmental biology/embryology (BIOL 105). Experience working with animals is a universal prerequisite for admissions to veterinary programs, and graduates also must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). It is best to obtain a catalog from the prospective schools and complete the courses required for the school of choice. Close contact with and advising from the advisor for Pre-Health Science in the Biological Science Department is strongly recommended for the entire undergraduate program.
Other Health Professions
Holy Names University provides pre-professional preparation for many other health care fields including clinical sciences, medical laboratory technology, respiratory therapy, optometry, podiatry, dental hygiene and chiropractic medicine. Students interested in any of the above fields should contact the advisor for Pre-Health Science in the Biological Science Department.